Tag Archive | Street Art Safari

Public Art Fund Presents Farah Al Qasimi’s Back and Forth Disco

Back and Forth Disco Photo By Gail Worley
Bodega Chandelier, Manhattan Location on Avenue A Between 5th and 6th Streets (Photos By Gail)

If you’re a NYC resident who likes to ‘get your steps in’ by exploring neighborhoods both new and familiar, here’s a Street Art Safari that you can participate in whether you live in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens! Back and Forth Disco is an exhibition of newly-commissioned photographs by Farah Al Qasimi (b. 1991 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) that celebrate individuality and the aesthetic choices that make spaces and surroundings uniquely personal.

Grace Beauty Salon Photo By Gail Worley
Grace Beauty Salon, Ave C between E 5th St and E 6th St, Manhattan

The 17 photographs in this new body of work isolate and highlight the beauty of seemingly inconspicuous moments amidst New York City’s visual and audible noise. Presented on 100 bus shelters across the five boroughs, the larger than life photographs are inserted into the paths of New York City commuters at eye level. Works are sited in clusters in over 18 neighborhoods to give the public an opportunity to see multiple photographs within walking or bus route distance. The bus shelters — platforms traditionally used for advertising — bring together images of people, street scenes, interiors, and surfaces to explore the experience of being an individual in a hyper-stimulating city.

Ceiling Mirror
Ceiling Mirror, Grand St between Pitt St and Ridge St, Manhattan

The artist has developed a photographic style that reads distinctly as her own, yet is continuously evolving. Over a month-long period in fall 2019, for the first time, Al Qasimi took New York City as her subject, primarily focusing on local communities where small businesses thrive. She has photographed neighborhood stores, barbershops, streets, and homes from Astoria, Queens to Chinatown, Manhattan to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Drawn to the idea of visual excess, rich textures, and brightly saturated colors—familiar to her from growing up in the Emirates — Al Qasimi captures vibrant instances of self-expression. The works highlight individual style and cultural traditions that break through the chaos and anonymity of the city.

Back and Forth Disco Photo By Gail Worley
Bodega Chandelier, Detail

Central to Bodega Chandelier is an elaborate crystal light fixture that dominates the ceiling of a Yemeni-owned bodega in Ridgewood, Queens, dwarfing the products on display. In Parked Car, garlands of artificial flowers from an Indian wedding decorate a polished gray car in Al Qasimi’s neighborhood.

Parked Car
Parked Car, Delancey St between Lewis St and Columbia St, Manhattan

Al Qasimi’s portraiture challenges traditional ideas associated with figuration by utilizing elements of camouflage, concealment, and revelation. Her process is both spontaneous and deliberate. She photographs friends and strangers alike, often returning to familiar places repeatedly or recreating moments she has seen in public space in more controlled environments. Her enigmatic portraits demonstrate her approach to the genre: the faces of her subjects are partially obstructed or altogether absent, while their vitality is instead accentuated through garments, hairstyles, and poses.

Woman in Leopard Print By Gail Worley
Woman in Leopard Print, Ave C between E 5th St and E 6th St, Manhattan

In Woman in Leopard Print, a single eye is revealed through a reflection in a compact mirror as the woman in a leopard-print headscarf studies herself. In Coco, a cockatoo who resides at a curtain store in Ridgewood, Queens is paid a visit by regulars in the neighborhood. A young boy looks at the bird but his eyes are hidden by his mother’s extended arm, allowing other features — such as the woman’s bright red nails — to become the focal point.

Bakery Window
Bakery Window, Grand St between Jackson St and Columbia St, Manhattan

The photographs in Back and Forth Disco aim to draw out expressive details that spark recognition within communities. Acts of adornment, both to oneself and to the city, highlight the idiosyncrasies and beauty in environments that are often overlooked.

Bleached Sign By Gail Worley
Bleached Sign, Grand St between Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive and Lewis St, Manhattan

Back And Forth Disco Is On View Through May 17th, 2020. Visit This Link For a Map of All Locations.

Woman on Phone By Gail Worley
Woman on Phone, E Houston between 2nd Ave and Bowery, Manhattan

Dollar Store Photo By Gail Worley

Dollar Story (Flipside of  Grace Beauty Salon), Ave C between E 5th St and E 6th St, Manhattan

Kobra Anti-Gun Violence Mural, LES

Kobra Anti-Gun Mural
Photos By Gail

On one of my recent Street Art Safaris, I found myself walking east on Eldridge Street, where I couldn’t help but notice more than a few stickers and small murals supporting anti-gun violence messages.  And then I saw this one: another work by Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra, whose work is instantly recognizable for its kaleidoscopic mosaic of bright colors. Kobra’s Stop Guns is a multi-story artwork depicting a young boy posing for a selfie, with his phone held up in one hand and a pistol gripped in the other. Very sobering. Appropriately, the piece is located adjacent to a parking lot beside Cascades High School.

Kobra Anti-Gun Mural

This Mural, Which Went Up on August 8th, 2018, is Located at the Corner of Stanton and Eldridge Streets on NYC’s Lower East Side.

The Faces of 14th Street

Not Art
All Photographs By Gail

You have to be observant, but if you bother to look up from your phone, or pay special attention to your surroundings, you can spot relief sculptures of the face of French street artist Gregos adorning the facades of buildings and other random objects at intervals all along 14th Street (and other locations in the east village) in Manhattan. You may recall reading about Gregos and his Pink Faces of Paris in this post from way back in November of 2010.

Faces of 14th Street

This piece is on a derelict Fire Box on the north side of 14th just west of 8th Avenue.

Gregos Face

North Side of 14th Street just West of 6th Avenue.

3rd Ave Face

This face is on the 14th Street side of the Duane Reade at the corner of 3rd Avenue. The mouth is closed on this one and it also appears to have lost the tip of its nose. You can clearly see the artist’s signature on the chin.

Street Face

And I spotted this face on the southern facade of a build on Second Avenue between 7th Street and St Mark’s Place. There is no protruding tongue on this one either, but the expression seems to be a bit grouchier than the others!

Have you seen these faces anywhere else? Please leave the location in the comments!

Nick Walker’s Love Vandal

Nick Walker Love Vandal Detail
All Photos By Gail

British artist Nick Walker painted this mural of his signature Love Vandal character in a parking lot at the southwest corner of 17th Street and 6th Avenue back in the fall of 2014, and it still looks great!

Nick Walker Love Vandal

Nick Walker Love Vandal

Nick Walker Love Vandal

Updated July 6, 2019: Here’s the piece on a Saturday with no cars in the way!

Snow Art Safari: The Snow Penises

Snow Penis 2
All Photos By Gail

The Snow Penis: it is a Thing. When snow falls on a parked car in NYC, it is time for the juvenile male mind to draw a penis on said car. I was not exactly on the hunt for the elusive Snow Penis when I spotted these two prime examples — on East 6th Street and East 5th Street, respectively — but I did have my camera with me, so, I bagged them both!

Snow Penis 1

Added February 9th, 2017

Snow Penis
Spotted on 14th Street East of First Avenue

Audrey Hepburn Mural By Tristan Eaton

Audrey
Photo By Gail

Audrey of Mulberry (NYC) was painted by Tristan Eaton in August of 2013, for The Little Italy Street Project and The Little Italy Merchants Association. Located on Mulberry Street, just south of Broome, at the entrance to Little Italy.

Homer Simpson Avocad’oh! Mural By Hanksy

Homer Avocad'oh
Photo By Gail

This “Instagram Fodder” by humorist street artist Hanksy is located on the northeast corner of Kenmare and Mulberry Streets in Soho, NYC.